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Call Of The Wild
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Hopefully you guys can offer some help. I'm building my systems up at the moment for different occasions (hikes, day trips, small bob etc) and I am looking to get a medium sized (30 litre/1800 cubic inch) day sack to carry them. I have certain specifications I want ticked as well as the size which are:

  • Water bladder capability
  • More than 1 main (large-ish) pocket
  • Front webbing of some sort
  • Side elasticated pockets
  • Sternum and removable waist strap
  • Relatively dark colours (Black, dark blue, dark brown, dark grey) - thus staying unobtrusive and non military looking
I have looked around all the major rucksack manufacturers and narrowed my list down to four possibles. I just wanted to get some feedback on these if anyone has experience with or just any thoughts on each one. I am really stuck on which one to pick, price isn't a factor here really, I just want the best option for capability, features, build quality and covering my specs.
Also if you have any other suggestions of ones that I've missed please throw them in the mix - they should tick all the boxes though, I've chucked some out simply because they didn't have a removable waist strap etc, since there are so many options I can afford to be picky.

So, my shortlist is:

Camelbak Alpine Explorer 2011 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - North Face Hot Shot

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -



Kelty Peregrine 1800 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Kelty Redtail 30

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Currently, top of my list is the Camelbak - it has an elasticated stuff pouch in front of the two main pockets which looks very useful, and it also has an inbuilt rain cover in the bottom which is a nice touch. Next is the North Face Hot Shot, then the Kelty Peregrine, then the Kelty Redtail.

I would also recommend these to others in the same situation as I am, I have done a lot of research and these are the contenders I have found to come on top in terms of build quality, features and covering what I specifically am looking for. I largely disregarded price and I didn't want that to be a factor - this will be a highly used item, and I believe you get what you pay for with items like this.

Anyway- opinions, thoughts, ideas and previous experience would be very much appreciated! :)
 

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You might want to look at what 5.11 has to offer. Their bags do not come with hydration bladders, but are set up to accept them.

I have found their equipment to be extremely durable and the prices are pretty good.

I also have four Military Camelbaks of various sizes.

I use those for large gear loads.
 

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The CamelBak Military packs are all available in black so they will look just like the other black ones above.
I have some Camelbak better bottles and kids bottles. My daughter bit a hole in the bite valve and I e-mailed them asking how I could buy one (they weren't on their web site yet). They said they would warranty it and asked for my address and I said I'd like to buy a couple spare of each, and they mailed them to me for free. So knowing they give good service I helped when I wanted to buy a pack.
 

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I have the very same camelbak you have listed above, and it's a great bag. My wife has one as well. It is very roomy. and has lots of storage options. The 3 liter bladder is nice as well. It's not my only bag, but it is my everyday carry bag.

I also wanted to add that Kelty makes an excellent product as well. I have an Arrowhead 2500 (no longer made), that has taken some serious punishment, and has held up very well.
 

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Camelback has always been a bit pricy for me, for the price I think kelty makes great packs with a bit more volume for what you're paying. Target sells Kelty packs for around $40, just picked up a Kelty 'Big Basin' for 11$ on 75% off. They don't sell a ton of them so they're clearancing inventory frequently, they might have the Kelty's you're looking at. That being said, if you're looking for the best not necessarily the best price, Camelback is a good choice.
 

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WINNING...humbly
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I can only talk about a Camelbak as this is the only one I have among these packs. All I can say that it's very lightweight, durable and comfortable. I have taken it on numerous hiking and short backpacking trips and it still looks brand new.

I purchased it from a local sporting goods store called "Big 5" for about $35. I think I used a 20% off coupon so the price was very reasonable.

I have an older Cloud Walker that looks exactly like this one

http://hunch.com/hiking-backpacks/camelbak-cloud-walker-hydration-pack-70-oz/154841/
 

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I have carried a North Face pack for 6 years daily. The main zipper broke on the first one after a year and they replaced it. The current bag I carry has lasted over 3 years now. They're solid packs.
 

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Call Of The Wild
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the reply guys, much appreciated - I'm still racking my brains over which one to get..!

Just curious - what is your price range?

And what is more important to you - weight or durability?
Price isn't really a factor, I'm prepared to pay out for this because I'm planning on using it for as long as it lasts. So I'm thinking the more I pay the longer the item will last.

Durability is probably more important to me than weight, but saying that, I'm not going to start carrying around a cast iron backpack so within reason.. :D:
 

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Hi Smith, I suggest none of those bags. :(

They have no belt to speak of and backpacks that are going to be carried for any length of time or have any appreciable weight require a good load bearing hip belt. :thumb:

I also don't subscribe to the Bugout bag concept anyhow, so my choices tend to be Get-Home-Bags

I am a long-distance runner so I won't touch a Get-Home-Pack that I can't run with. :D:



I actually have (had it was stolen on Sunday morning) the smaller version green one because I only carry a tiny tiny tiny bit of stuff to run home. :thumb:

If I ever have to get home and all the vehicles are somehow kaput, EMP, Solar Flare, etc. ...the there is no reason to sit in a tent with a cup of tea if my objective is to get home. I will run for the distance. Even is I am crossing a distance that is longer than a marathon or two, I will just stop for a few hours, knock on a door, curl up in a shed, sleep in a garage.

For me, playing survival in the swamp isn't the point of getting home. Whatever the case, if getting someplace with a load on your back is the idea, then a hipbelt is a must. :thumb:
 

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Thanks for the reply guys, much appreciated - I'm still racking my brains over which one to get..!



Price isn't really a factor, I'm prepared to pay out for this because I'm planning on using it for as long as it lasts. So I'm thinking the more I pay the longer the item will last.

Durability is probably more important to me than weight, but saying that, I'm not going to start carrying around a cast iron backpack so within reason.. :D:
http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/PYGMY-FALCON-II-Backpack-12p145.htm



I have this back pack, just recently bought it...it is incredibly over built.

It allows for a little more expansion with the molle webbing but my intent was to not carry a kitchen sink, I have other packs for that.

I use to have an EMS pack for the same purpose...I bought it 15 years ago (still serviceable). I got tired of having to dig around the bottom to get stuff so I bought this one to better organize things.

ETA...this bag can handle some serious weight for its size if I needed it to, it's that strong.
 

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Hi Smith, I suggest none of those bags. :(

They have no belt to speak of and backpacks that are going to be carried for any length of time or have any appreciable weight require a good load bearing hip belt. :thumb:

I also don't subscribe to the Bugout bag concept anyhow, so my choices tend to be Get-Home-Bags

I am a long-distance runner so I won't touch a Get-Home-Pack that I can't run with. :D:


I actually have (had it was stolen on Sunday morning) the smaller version green one because I only carry a tiny tiny tiny bit of stuff to run home. :thumb:

If I ever have to get home and all the vehicles are somehow kaput, EMP, Solar Flare, etc. ...the there is no reason to sit in a tent with a cup of tea if my objective is to get home. I will run for the distance. Even is I am crossing a distance that is longer than a marathon or two, I will just stop for a few hours, knock on a door, curl up in a shed, sleep in a garage.

For me, playing survival in the swamp isn't the point of getting home. Whatever the case, if getting someplace with a load on your back is the idea, then a hipbelt is a must. :thumb:
Don't get hung up on the term bob or ghb and limit your thinking, just because you only plan on getting home doesn't mean you may never need to bug out. Your house could catch fire, the bag beside your bed with clothes and spare vehicle keys can get you dressed and let you move your vehicles away. When tornado sirens go off I take my bob to the basement, using it to bug in there. I see a lot of people that quickly jump to the conclusion that a bob means you leave your house amd head for the woods but that's not always the case.
 

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Thanks for the reply guys, much appreciated - I'm still racking my brains over which one to get..!



Price isn't really a factor, I'm prepared to pay out for this because I'm planning on using it for as long as it lasts. So I'm thinking the more I pay the longer the item will last.

Durability is probably more important to me than weight, but saying that, I'm not going to start carrying around a cast iron backpack so within reason.. :D:
I use a TAD Gear Litespeed Pack.

Rock solid - one of the best bags you can get.

If you want a larger bag - they make the EDC Pack.

If you need a link let me know
 

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Hi Smith28
Try this (3) three day bag it's from L A Police Gear I have one for me and my G/F.
We have only used them for day Hikes so far, they are well made and they have all bell's & whistles they look like they will go the distance and the price is great.

http://www.lapolicegear.com/



LA Police Gear 3 Day Backpack
Retail price: $60.00
Our price: $29.99
You save: $30.01

* Product Details

LA Police Gear has just introduced this new 3 day pack at an unbeatable price! This bag has tons of room for your gear, and is MOLLE compatible in case you need to strap on external pouches. Made as strong as the name brands, but without the name brand price!

# Features Dual compression straps
# Exterior straps to hold MOLLE compatible gear
# Removable 2" waist strap
# Main compartment has interior organization system
# 19" tall X 13" wide X 12" thick at bottom and 9" at the top
# 2590 cubic inches
# Made to carry heavy loads

This bag has received great reviews from customers! This pack is the perfect size and all the features you would want in a basic 3 Day style pack. Similar backpacks can cost anywhere from $100 to $250 dollars. You can't beat our price. This is one of the best value backpacks anywhere. We went factory direct to cut out the expensive middle men who do nothing but jack up the prices. Don't be fooled by the price. The most common customers statement about this backpack is that they are blown away at the quality they get for the price they paid. Give this pack a try and if not happy with it send it back for a refund.
XR750
Stop socialism now
 

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Let it rain
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Hi Smith28
Try this (3) three day bag it's from L A Police Gear I have one for me and my G/F.
We have only used them for day Hikes so far, they are well made and they have all bell's & whistles they look like they will go the distance and the price is great.

http://www.lapolicegear.com/



LA Police Gear 3 Day Backpack
Retail price: $60.00
Our price: $29.99
You save: $30.01










* Product Details

LA Police Gear has just introduced this new 3 day pack at an unbeatable price! This bag has tons of room for your gear, and is MOLLE compatible in case you need to strap on external pouches. Made as strong as the name brands, but without the name brand price!

# Features Dual compression straps
# Exterior straps to hold MOLLE compatible gear
# Removable 2" waist strap
# Main compartment has interior organization system
# 19" tall X 13" wide X 12" thick at bottom and 9" at the top
# 2590 cubic inches
# Made to carry heavy loads

This bag has received great reviews from customers! This pack is the perfect size and all the features you would want in a basic 3 Day style pack. Similar backpacks can cost anywhere from $100 to $250 dollars. You can't beat our price. This is one of the best value backpacks anywhere. We went factory direct to cut out the expensive middle men who do nothing but jack up the prices. Don't be fooled by the price. The most common customers statement about this backpack is that they are blown away at the quality they get for the price they paid. Give this pack a try and if not happy with it send it back for a refund.
XR750
Stop socialism now
I just received mine today via USPS. I will let you all know what my impression is and upload some pics. BTW I am not in any way shape or form associated with either company.
 

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http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/PYGMY-FALCON-II-Backpack-12p145.htm



I have this back pack, just recently bought it...it is incredibly over built.

It allows for a little more expansion with the molle webbing but my intent was to not carry a kitchen sink, I have other packs for that.

I use to have an EMS pack for the same purpose...I bought it 15 years ago (still serviceable). I got tired of having to dig around the bottom to get stuff so I bought this one to better organize things.

ETA...this bag can handle some serious weight for its size if I needed it to, it's that strong.
Yep, I totally agree. The Pygmy Falcon II is the best daypack for the money anywhere out there. I have seen them as low as $60 recently. I think they are a pretty good deal at the $89 MSRP. Just a day pack but it's a very capable one. Great organization, durability, comfort and you can attach pouches to enhance it.
 

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Hi Smith, I suggest none of those bags. :(

They have no belt to speak of and backpacks that are going to be carried for any length of time or have any appreciable weight require a good load bearing hip belt. :thumb:

I also don't subscribe to the Bugout bag concept anyhow, so my choices tend to be Get-Home-Bags

I am a long-distance runner so I won't touch a Get-Home-Pack that I can't run with. :D:



I actually have (had it was stolen on Sunday morning) the smaller version green one because I only carry a tiny tiny tiny bit of stuff to run home. :thumb:

If I ever have to get home and all the vehicles are somehow kaput, EMP, Solar Flare, etc. ...the there is no reason to sit in a tent with a cup of tea if my objective is to get home. I will run for the distance. Even is I am crossing a distance that is longer than a marathon or two, I will just stop for a few hours, knock on a door, curl up in a shed, sleep in a garage.

For me, playing survival in the swamp isn't the point of getting home. Whatever the case, if getting someplace with a load on your back is the idea, then a hipbelt is a must. :thumb:
Osprey certainly does make some GREAT products. My primary pack for backpacking is an Osprey Exos 46 and I wouldn't have it any other way!

That said, their stuff is (mostly) designed to be lightweight and comfortable. Durability is NOT their strong suit once you jump into their ultralight gear. It'll certainly last a long time when you know its intended uses and treat it well, but I don't think I'd want to have to rely on it to last under heavy, or even slightly-abusive conditions such as those that one might encounter in a bugout situation. (Don't take this the wrong way though! I've been on about 40 different backpacking trips with mine everywhere from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to most of the major peaks in Arizona, and I've NEVEr had a problem with the pack in any way at all.)

That said, with durability on the top of the OPs list of priorities, CamelBak is probably the best option. As everyone already has noticed, it's never the cheapest option, but it's definitely one of those get-what-you-pay-for situations.

For the last three or four years, my go-to pack for day hiking has been a CamelBak similar to that Alpine Explorer model (although a bit smaller) and it's served me VERY well each and every time it's been used (hundreds of hikes, and counting.) They're pretty much built like tanks, not overly heavy at all, and quite comfortable if you take the time to properly adjust it for your own personal fit.

Disclaimer: I'm a CamelBak junkie! I've currently got my smaller CamelBak daypack, a BFM, TriZip, 2-3 of the classic 100oz bladders, at LEAST five of the newer HydroLink bladders/hoses/QD systems, filter adapters, two .75 liter Better Bottles, and god knows what else. Every single one of these products has performed for me when it counted in some pretty harsh environments and even though the pricetag on some (most?) of these items can be hard to swallow at first, it's well worth the investment in my opinion. Summary: CamelBak is gonna be a great route to go with =)
 

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I have an older Kelty with a waist belt which is stowable. It's also got built-in hydration. I got it on sale several years ago and it's been great. One thing I look for on bags and outerwear is the brand of zippers. I've found that anything less than YKK generally doesn't hold up well for me.

I have a Swiss Army (or Wenger, I dunno, can't keep up!) bag I use for EDC because my MacBook Pro fits in it well. It's not very good quality and the zippers stick some, but it's probably what I'll have on me if things go south and I am at work. I might work on swapping the two out tho, now that I think about it...
 
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